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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  February 5, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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are children. sex appeal is all some performers have but beyonce is no half talent pop-tart. it struck me as odd that someone to immensely talented would choose to make her sex appeal the main attraction. watching her sing "single ladies" her ode to female empowerment and self worthwhile humping the stage and flashing her lady bits to the camera was a strange, sad commentary on what she must not know about herself, that she's too good for that. i don't need to beethoven's ninth symphony at the super bowl. steve wants to bring back the traditions of marching bands. i realize we might be too far gone to book the wholesome and corny up with people kids from the halftimes of the '70s and '80s but it should be fun, the
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kind of fun all audiences and the whole family can enjoy. now get off my lawn. okay. that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's a all yours. >> thank you. good afternoon. it's tuesday, february 5th and eric cantor says if at first you don't succeed, try, try again with the same ideas that didn't work in the first place. >> in a letter today eric is going to be delivering an address to the american enterprise institute on the direction of the message of the republican party. >> eric cantor will be outlining a new agenda for his party today. >> we have not explained why we take the positions that we do. >> we obviously have to expand our appeal. >> we have to stop being the stupid party. >> explaining why we're doing what we're doing. >> what we've got here -- >> what this is about is about making sure that we can express why we're doing what we're doing. >> i think the sequester is
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going to happen. >> failure to the communicate. >> just tweaking and rebranding. >> the idea that more and more able-bodied people are becoming dependent upon the government. >> they do not make us a nation of takers. they free us. >> listen, i think we learned a lot of lessons from the last election. >> we're losing! ♪ >> we begin this afternoon with the clash of two statements, one delivered by a man who's enjoying some of the high he is approval ratings of his career. the other delivered by a third-rate actor who is trying desperately to put a new phase on some tired old policies. the subject, a so-called sequester that will trigger is trillion dollars in spending cuts in less than four weeks. >> but we've also seen the effects that political dysfunction can have on our economic progress.
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>> that, of course, was the president seeking to protect a fragile recovery from falling back into recession if the sequester is allowed to occur. and then there was speaker boehner. >> the house on two occasions has passed a plan to replace the sequester. it's time for the senate democrats to do their work. it's time for the president to offer his ideas. >> it's hardly surprising that the speaker sounds bored by the very words coming from his very own mouth because it is the self-same rhetoric that republicans have been spouting for ages. >> the president's budget is late again. >> it is a bill that, frankly, says to the president, you know, please join us in doing your job. >> and he's missed the deadline for out of five times. >> and the president, we hope he takes up a superman cape and sends up a serious plan. >> sorry. back at the white house, the president was offering yet another simple explanation for
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why indiscriminate cuts without any additional revenues makes no sense at all. >> we can't just cut our way to prosperity. deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs. >> of course, the architect for the republican position on the economy has been congressman paul ryan, who chairs the house budget committee. and just as mr. ryan has problems recalling his exact marathon time, so he appears to have real problems with who was responsible for the sequester in the first place. >> we think the sequesters will happen because the democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others and they've offered no alternatives. >> and while the republican approach to the fast approaching sequester leads them to rewrite history and ignore the potential for economic disaster, mr. ryan's friend and colleague, eric cantor, was also out delivering his own version of republican revisionism.
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>> our house republican majority stands ready for the president and his party to join us in actually tackling the big problems facing this country. >> that was mr. eric cantor 6.0-let's turn to representative keith ellison, democrat from the state of minnesota. and to my colleague, joy reid, who is managing editor of congressman, it seems to me, sir, we have a major collision today. on the one hand, we have speaker boehner and his boys out there purring a bill to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, and now on the other hand we've got a bill that you are co-sponsoring, the balancing act i believe it's called, that would close upper income tax loopholes and keep nearly 300,000 teachers at work and add 1 million jobs to the economy. have i got that right, sir? >> you've got to right. and all we do is close loopholes on the fossil fuel industry, on
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the yacht owners and the plane owners. we close loopholes on carried interest. loopholes that should be closed in any budget environment. we close those and then we arrive at a place where we have balance between the cuts that we've already seen, $1.7 trillion, and revenue increases, and then through changes in -- through reductions and efficiencies in the pentagon budget, we put $300 billion into jobs, which saves teachers, which invests in school frukt, a and helps schools. >> congressman, mr. ryan and mr. mcconnell at the beginning of this year said quite clearly the revenues issue is now closed. it's off the table. there are no more discussions on revenues. >> so they would rather cut home heating oil for seniors -- >> yes. >> they'd rather cut women and
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infants and children. >> yes. >> food grams. >> yes. >> they'd rather cut things like that than ask rich people for more money? >> what about meals on wheels, head start. that's what they'd like to cut, this is correct. >> so it's brutal. it's cruel. and it will cause layoffs and we will see economic growth decline, and they're willing to do this just to protect the wealthiest few. and i think it's a moral outrage. i think americans of all stripes ought to stand up and say no. and this is why the progressive caucus members have offered the balancing act. because, you know, there is a way forward. there is a way to address budgetary and gdeficit issues ad invest in our economy. there's a way to protect people who are must vulnerable and to ask people who have been blessed to pony up a little bit more. it's not going to stop them from
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getting yachts and planes and all those goodies. but kids will have meals. >> yes, indeed. >> and seniors will have warm houses to live in. >> joy, i seem to recall that this issue of closing loopholes and reducing deductions was suggested by some republicans not so long ago. take a listen. >> we propose to close those special interest loopholes. let's ged rid of special interest loopholes. plug loopholes, lower everybody's tax rates. get rid of special interest loopholes. plug these loopholes. >> so for mr. ryan, plugging loopholes is great when mitt romney proposes it as an idea but as soon as the president does, it's off the table. >> first of all, who is mitt romney. >> sorry? >> oh, right, that guy. i remember him. you're exactly right. you were getting to it in your intro, the sequester was the ransom that republicans in the house demanded of the white house in order to raise the debt ceiling in 2011. >> but they now say it was the
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president who is responsible. >> exactly. they voted for this. >> and paul ryan runs a marathon in less than one hour. >> i thought it was like 20 minutes. he's superman. this is what they wanted. >> of course. congressman, here is another apparent contradiction you might like to clear up for us. on the one hand, you have eric cantor out there giving a speech on making life work. he sounds like tony robbins or something. he's trying to sell yet another iteration of the republican party, but when you strip away the soft smile and the cadence, he'd happily slash every one of those programs that you just went through, wouldn't he? >> oh, absolutely. eric cantor despite all of the covering in the near is definitely proposing budgets that are hostile to middle and low income people. and particularly to vulnerable people, but not only that, you know, programs like s.n.a.p.
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actually give people money they can spend at the store that allows the store to hire people. eventually the programs they cut will hurt the people who are employed indirectly by the programs. it's really bad economic policy. no model of economic understanding would support what they're doing except for some sort of like, i don't know, some sort of the grinch stole christmas kind of philosophy. >> joy, can you help me understand eric cantor extreme makeover edition? who is this man? because on the day he gives this speech, earlier in the day he stands up with speaker boehner and says, why isn't the president slashing the budget to pieces? >> exactly. it's called his district is becoming more purple. i think eric cantor is worried about his own political future and that's where he is trying to make over the republican party and, look, let's face, it the republican party as representative ellison just said, they really do want to cut food stamps, which benefits
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kraft foods and walmart and farmers as well as the poor. they really want to cut these programs for the poor. it's their ideological want to do that. number one, they weren't foresighted enough to get that into the sequester. they exempted things like medicare and medicaid and social security and now they are dying for the president to propose draconian cuts so they don't have to have their fingerprints on it like they want these draconian cuts to go through without people like eric cantor in increasingly purple districts to have to pay a political price. >> congressman keith ellison, joy reid, thank you both so much. stay with us. much more ahead. >> i have made jokes about you not just one or two, not just ongoing here and there intermittent but -- >> i didn't know this was going to be this long. i have a cold, and i took nyquil,
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the story that's provoked perhaps the greatest outrage today lies at the heart of where the war on terrorism begins and basic civil rights end. nbc news is the first to report on a document released to a senate committee in june of last year that lays out u.s. policy on when drone attacks may be used against u.s. citizens abroad. specifically the white paper's focus is on who may be the focus of these attacks and at what point a threat is considered imminent. for more we bring in the man who broke this story, the great nbc's mike isikoff. mike, welcome. let's make it clear, if he can, from the beginning, whom does this memo encompass?
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for instance, would it include an al qaeda agent, say, living in europe, in germany, or in the united kingdom? >> most likely not. the memo lays out a three-part test for who can be targeted by a pilotless drone strike if there is a belief that the individual, the target, is an al qaeda operational leader. number one, there has to be what the memo describes as an imminent threat of a violent attack against the united states. number two, capture of that individual is not feasible. and number three, the operation has been under applicable law of war principles. if you go to the second part of that test, capture is unfeasible, it probably wouldn't apply in germany or the united kingdom and certainly not in the united states. >> and yet i guess that's the point, isn't it? i mean, it does appear to lack detail. for instance, whom does the white paper consider to be a
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target? and how does it define the imminence of a threat? is there a definition? >> well, exactly. and it turns out there's a lot greater leeway to those definitions than administration officials have publicly acknowledged. first of all, the targets are selected by secret intelligence, not by evidence, and all this has come up because of the strike that killed two american citizens in yemen in 2011. neither one had been charged with a crime. that doesn't mean they were not bad guys who were playing big roles in al qaeda, but they were american citizens. they did have rights. but it's that second part that you mentioned, the imminent threat of a violent attack. that's the way attorney general holder and other administration officials have publicly proclaimed what the test is. but when you look at this memo,
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and we have posted it all on you see the definition of imminence is quite elastic. the memo explicitly says that it does not require -- imminent threat does not require that there be intelligence about an active plot against the united states. it says it could be past information linking that person to violent activities and the assumption will be if they haven't renounced it, then they still pose an imminent threat. i think that's the rub. that's where the most controversy about this memo is coming in. >> nbc's michael isikoff. congratulations. great reporting. the president had very little to say about this story today. after he'd finished talking about the upcoming sequester cuts in the white house briefing room, he left the stage to his spokesman, jay carney. >> we conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats,
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to stop plots, prevent future attacks and, again, save american lives. these strikes are legal. they are ethical, and they are wise. >> for more analysis, let's bring in ryan grim, d.c. bureau chief for "the huffington post" and david corn, d.c. bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine, both super men. i think what concerns people so much about this story is what mike was referring to, the vagueness of some of the language. let me show you a few examples. targets may including al qaeda or an associated force of al qaeda. it's approved by an informed, high-level official. and the programs requires, again quoting, a broader concept of imminence. doesn't this allow drone operatives, being honest, david, a vast amount of flexibility? >> i'm always honest with you because i know you can take it. and i want to congratulate my former co-author, mike isikoff, for breaking this important story. i think you just pointed out, as
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have others, the three major contentious points of this memo, the problems that are there. because i think -- i'm sympathetic to the argument that in some instances you got to use drone strikes when there's no other opportunity, but the definition of imminence is really stretched here. it's almost orwellian. when you get to a high-level official, the memo seems to suggest that you can do this without anyone vetting the decision of a single person, and whether that's the president or anybody else, it doesn't even state. i think that's also a gigantic problem. and the fact that the memo doesn't go into but you have 11 members of the senate, 8 democrats and 3 republicans, who have asked the white house to turn over the legal memos that this sort of sums up, cover these drone strikes, and the white house has so far been
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reluctant to do so is another problem. you want oversight. if you believe this has to happen, then congress or the judicial branch, at least somebody within the executive branch has to be reviewing this. >> ryan, on this same point, what qualifies someone as a ranking figure within al qaeda? i mean, is the son of anwar al awlaki a justifiable target, for example? >> that's what we don't know. are they claiming that they were justified in killing awlaki's son? this is not a kid who was collateral damage of a strike on somebody who they came is a justifiable target. >> indeed, he was a target. >> exactly. it was two weeks after they killed his father. this is a 16-year-old boy who nobody has ever claimed had any connection to al qaeda or any connection to any group that was even connected to al qaeda. so who killed him? and why was he killed? and is his murder justified under these guidelines that they've laid out? we haven't seen the memo that's
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behind this memo, so we don't know. the white house says that this is legal and it's ethical, but the white house isn't really the one that makes those decisions. when people are killed, those decisions are made by juries and my a court. i don't understand how his killing could possibly be held up as legal. >> and yet, david, there are many people who would say that if an individual of his own volition goes and joins a terrorist organization, wherever it is in any part of the world, then in effect that individual becomes a target because that individual is determined to undermine the safety and security of the united states. >> as i said earlier, i think you can make an argument for these type of strikes under -- >> but, david, do you not accept that point, that an individual who goes to the yemen and joins al qaeda or goes to afghanistan and joined al qaeda or goes to bangladesh or india or any of these other nations, they in
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effect by volition of their own action are inviting that kind of attack? >> you can make the argument. what i think is most important here is that these decisions are reviewed and that there is generally a high standard before any action is taken and that those standards are reviewed as well. we have a lot of secret things that our government does through the cia and special forces, but the theory here is that the executive branch is not allowed to do it on its own, that there's at least oversight from congress. and in the past we've known, the new jersey committees -- intell committees on the hill have always been lap dogs and not watch dogs. the memo that we see today doesn't have anything along those lines, and to me that's the most worrisome because we can come up here with different hypothetical scenarios and argue whether they justify use of drones or not, but i want someone who actually is doing
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this and reviewing this on a day-to-day basis. >> on that basis, ryan, we have hearings thursday for the president's nominee for cia director, john brennan, and he helped design this very program. should we expect that this memo is going to formulate much of the questioning that he has to sustain and take on thursday? >> well, this memo ought to as well as his history with the cia's torture of suspects who were in detention. all of those things are going to be bubbling up here, but, you know, i think liberals who are thinking about this ought to say how would i feel about this if this memo was written for dick cheney or for george w. bush? let's say you're a huge fan of barack obama and you do think he's ethical and wise or whatever the words that jay carney used. obama is not going to be president forever. we're going to have new administrations, and obama has kind of solidified what bush and cheney put into place and that's
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going to be in the hands of other administrations in the future, and david is right. there are no checks on this. if this is so ethical, it's so wise, and it's so legal, then why don't you be honest and open about it and tell congress what you're doing so at least they can do it even if you're going to keep the people in the dark. >> thank you, gentlemen. coming up, at least some members of congress are looking for bipartisan solutions on gun safety. yes, they are. stay with us. [ woman ] if you have the audacity to believe your financial advisor should focus on your long-term goals, not their short-term agenda. [ male announcer ] join the nearly 7 million investors who think like you do. face time and think time make a difference. at edward jones, it's how we make sense of investing.
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[ whispering ] that's crazy, the cookie's the best part. crème. cookie. crème. cookie. [ whispering ] crème. [ whispering ] cookie. [ whispering ] crème. [ whispering ] cookie. [ whispering ] crème. [ whispering ] cookie. crème! [ fire alarm ringing ] [ whispering ] fire! crème. cookie. crème. cookie. [ whispering ] i'm calling the cops. [ police siren wails, car horn blares ] crème. cookie. [ whispering ] you guys have to stop fighting. we're the cops. [ male announcer ] choose your side on instagram @oreo. from saluting a new york city mayor and chris christie's new slogan to more gun sanity. here are today's "top lines." >> they're breaking it all the
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time. >> hispanics and republicans go together like beans and very, very white rice. >> i admire senator rubio. >> that's highly suspicious of the beans. >> i think he's moving in the right direction. >> these are the letters i got from ed koch and he hated cigarettes. he said we have to do something to convince these young people to quit smoking. go after the root of the argument. >> basically the healthiest fat guy you have ever seen in your life. >> there is your complain poster. >> when you're skeet shooting, you shoot up. >> waiting for the photos of him taking birth control pills to show him fighting the war on women. >> this is deeper than we thought. >> the sporting event that encapsulates the entirety of what it means to be an american. >> those commercials tell us a lot about america. good looking girl.
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dumb, unness, and offensive to men. >> an event that begins with an emotional salute to the victims of gun violence quickly gives way to promotional salute to the glorifying of said gun violence. >> in the least inflammatory way possible. >> would you leave us the hell alone? we have a mad man problem in america. >> get the wallpaper of children behind him, read the letters from sandy hook. >> screw you. you think we don't care about the children? >> with a soaring rhetoric took his case today to the people of minnesota. >> universal background checks are universally supported just about by gun owners. >> universal background check means universal registration, universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination. >> we kand allow those filters to get in the way of common sense. >> he said it. we'll be right back. stay with us.
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while the president talked budget cuts and then left to continue talks on immigration, it was his spokesman who handled
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revelations about an nbc news report on this administration's policies on drone strikes. >> the president has made clear, as reflected in the statements and speeches by senior administration officials, that we need to inform the public and explain to the public and to you, you know, the process that we're undertaking and the reasoning behind it. >> for more we're going to cbs's kristin welker live at the white house. good afternoon, kristin. that response we played comes from a question that you yourself asked jay carney today. how would you define the white house reaction to the story that mike isikoff broke late last night? >> reporter: well, martin, the white house on defense, particularly during that briefing today. i asked white house press secretary jay carney about the transparency or lack thereof, given the manner in which the public is learning about this drone policy. i can tell you that carnie really kept coming back to two
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many points. one, that congress has authorized military force against suspected al qaeda operatives, and, two, that the president is mindful of the limits of his authority. but he certainly got a number of questions about this today, martin, and we expect them to get even more in the future. but again, he kept coming back to those two main points. there were a lot of unanswered questions though, and one of the big ones was the drone policy describes this type of threat as someone who is imminent, someone who poses an imminent threat to the united states. carney got a lot of questions about what specifically imminent means, what do you define that? that is one of the big questions that remains unanswered. i would expect something that he will get a number of questions about moving forward. >> it wouldn't just be him, will it? because the administration's nominee for cia director john brennan is going to appear on thursday. he is one of the architects of this drone program.
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how do you think what has emerged today will affect that confirmation hearing? because we know chuck hagel had a difficult time, john kerry's was fairly straightforward. does this mean that john brennan may have quite a tough time thursday? >> reporter: he might. carney said he still believes brennan will be confirmed, but in a letter to president obama, 11 senators said that this could complicate those confirmation hearings, including ron widen, susan collins of maine saying that they want more answers about this. of course, brennan is really the only person in the administration who has spoken directly about the drone program making the point that the administration only targets someone if they believe they have good cause, if they believe that there won't be a lot of collateral damage. so this is something that he has talked about. carney pointed to the fact that a lot of this is still
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classified, so there are probably limits to what he can be asked during this confirmation hearing, but, martin, he's going to get some tough questions. >> and you will be there to report on it. nbc news white house correspondent kristin welker. thank you. >>. >> reporter: thanks. >> let's go to a pair of congressmen. congressman cummings, you lost your own nephew to gun violence and today you alongside several other colleagues have announced a bipartisan gun control le legislati legislation. it would impose tough penalties on so-called straw purchasers. but would this bill, sir, penalize only the purchaser, and wouldn't it make more sense to actually make the seller equally culpable if a straw purchase takes place? >> well, we've got several issues here, martin.
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part of the bill goes to increasing the penalties for straw purchase ers, and this is when somebody goes to a gun dealer. and a lot of the times if they go to a gun dealer, of course, the gun dealer will do a background check and get into this. so that's going to be taken care of. but there's another part of the bill that establishes a gun trafficking law, and basically it would address anybody down the line who might be a part of gun trafficking. if they buy a gun with the intentions of passing it on to a felon or a cartel or what have you, they would be taken care of. so i think we -- the bill is narrow. i think it's where we want it to be and i think it's one that hopefully more republicans and democrats will join in and be a part of. >> well, it's certainly a positive step.
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congressman, your home state of virginia has been cited by mayor michael bloomberg of new york as the source of many of the guns that make their way up the i-95 and onto the strides of new york. according to the atf, in 2011 over 1,700 guns from other states were recovered by law enforcement in maryland alone. 418 of those were from virginia. and virginia ranks in the top five among states that export guns used in crimes. so how would this bill stop the flow of guns into your colleague congressman cummings' state? >> well, martin, this bill is a direct reflection of the wisdom and really the advice and council of our men and women in law enforcement. they're telling us the federal law is insufficient, it's ambiguo ambiguous. they ask us for help, that's why
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we're here today. earlier we announced this legislation. it makes sense because it does target two groups of people. folks who shouldn't have guns. one is the group of folks who are straw purchasers, buying guns for others, and also the gun traffickers. look, as lifetime member of the nra, as a person who is a strong second amendment advocate, i have a problem with people who use guns to commit crimes because it really puts pressure on the law-abiding citizens like myself and others. so that's why i'm happy to stand here with my friend and colleague, elijah, and others, democrats and republicans, to get this legislation advanced. >> congressman cummings, in chicago where gun stores are illegal, over a quarter of the firearms seized by police in the last five years were purchased just outside the city limits. 1,300 from one store alone. assault weapons and high capacity magazines abound in chicago. but still that city saw more
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than 500 gun homicides last year alone. assuming your bill passes, how is it possible to determine if someone is a straw purchaser and how can a store be held liable for a straw purchase? >> well, let me give you an example. >> thank you. >> we have a situation where a number of guns that ended up in oakland that came from georgia, and they were bought by a straw purchaser. a woman in georgia bought guns for her boyfriend who had a criminal record. you know what he did then? he then sends them -- sells them to folks in oakland. the point is that this goes to that straw purchaser. it's going to cause them to say, wait a minute, cause a woman like that to say, maybe i shouldn't be doing this because i may be facing 20 years in jail. that's how a lot of guns get to places like baltimore, get to places like oakland. and so this is going to address
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that problem, and i'm convinced that the only people that should be against this bill is the criminal or the person who wants to be a straw purchaser. >> one would think so. >> i would think so. >> congressman rigell, your party has traditionally sided with the nra. you have reflected you have long been a supporter of then ra. given the comments of people like wayne lapierre who opposes background checks, is it your view, sir, that republicans like yourself are maybe beginning to rethink their allegiance to the gun lobby? >> well, what we're doing here today i think reflects common sense common ground and what's right for america -- >> but does it, sir, reflect republicans like yourself beginning to realize that some of the things that have been coming from the leadership of the nra are simply nonsensical
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and nonrepresentative of the vast majority of its own membership? >> look, i think the nra through the years has done a lot of good thing, and i'm proud of my membership in the nra. now, that said, i'm a businessman turned public servant, and i focus on that which i can get done, and we look for common ground, and that's why elijah and i are working so well together, representative carolyn maloney out of new york, pat meehan out of pennsylvania, one a demeanor, one a republican. we said what's right for america? we weren't focusing on trying to critique then ra. we aren't trying to focus on labeling. i think we're trying to advance sound legislation. i think we can really get this done. >> congressmen, thank you so much for being willing to work together on this critical issue. thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you, martin. >> thank you. next, john boehner and eric cantor can't answer a simple question on immigration reform.
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but first tyler mathisen has the cnbc market wrap. good afternoon. >> thank you very much. it was a day of bouncing back on the dow. it was up about 100 points. to have 13,979. and the nasdaq higher by about 1.33% at 3,171.58. we'll be right back. [ male announcer] surprise -- you're having triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪
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in addition to addressing the nation's economy today, the president has also been meeting with labor and business leaders to discuss a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. companies as divers a goldman sachs and coca-cola were represented as well as the na n
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naacp. maria teresa kumar is an msnbc contributor and president of voter latino and angela rye is director of impact and a political strategist. welcome to both of you. maria, if i can start with you, what do you think the president is hoping to achieve by hosting such a range of organizations and companies to discuss this issue? >> martin, what the president recognizes is comprehensive immigration reform will take all efforts, all hands on deck. it's going to be grassroots, labor, business, and the only way he can do that is make sure everybody is on board and very clear on what the request is at hand. but more importantly, the fact that he was able to get in one day not only labor but he was also able to get business around the same table during these discussions demonstrates business recognizes they need to move fast on immigration because
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his window of time is short to pass this legislation. >> angela, today speaker john boehner and leader eric cantor were both asked if they plan to vote for senator marco rubio's broad plan supported by senate democrats. see if you can find a straight answer from either man. listen to this. >> i want to applaud senator rubio for his efforts. this is not about being in a hurry. this is about trying to get it right. >> my grandparents came from eastern europe at the turn of the last century to flee religious persecution. >> forgive me, i didn't hear an answer? did you say yes or no? >> we're a country of immigrants. >> we could have gone on but there was never going to be an answer. neither john boehner nor eric cantor can say they will support the rubio plan. the president says, as maria teresa just said, he wants to move forward, but are the signs that the republicans still haven't decided on what they think on this issue? >> well, the republicans have to wake up, martin.
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at this point 62% of the american people support not only immigration reform but they also support a pathway to citizenship. regardless -- >> but angela, you just heard john boehner refusing to answer the question and eric cantor can't give you an answer either. >> well, you would have a hard time answering, too, martin if 131 of your colleagues come from districts that are 80% white and have no context for what this really looks like considering the fact that america is now very diverse and the face of america does not reflect the face of those particular congressional districts. >> i think that's right. maria, the bipartisan senate plan for a bath to citizenship, as you know, requires 11 million illegal immigrants to pay back taxes, a fine, and survive a probationary period. we know that republicans and democrats want to see punishment for the crime of illegal immigration. but if the penalties are too high, won't that simply discourage undocumented immigrants from ever coming
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forward? >> well, i think -- first of all, i don't think it would discourage it. if anything the fact that people are risking their lives to be in this country and to demonstrate that they are good citizens by going to work and doing often times jobs that we don't want to do as americans i think demonstrates their commitment to this country. but i do caution the republicans because their whole purpose of moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform is because they recognize that they got a shellacking during the november 6th election. the only way they're going to get the latino vote sort of their current self-deportation policy is to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. nick short is not going to move the latino vote or the asian vote in this case also that went overwhelmingly for obama because of immigration -- because of the lack of immigration rhetoric in the republican party. so they need -- in order to win the white house and even the senate, they need to make sure that there's a pathway to citizenship so they can get beyond this whole rhetoric of
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whether or not the latino vote is up for grabs. >> angela, to be fair to him, even house majority leader eric cantor is begin to move towards the center on this issue. and yet there are still plenty of republicans who still believe the answer is to build a fence, electrify it, enforce existing laws. how can they be persuaded that now is the time for a major overhaul of immigration policy in this country? >> well, i think the people have to lobby. often times public opinion is the biggest mover on legislation on capitol hill, and i think that they just have to pay attention, folks have to call their members and make sure they're very clear about what their expectations are. if they look at what the president did, whether it's with labor or the business community, it's very clear where everyone in this country is beginning to stand. the republicans, it's time for them to do the same. >> absolutely. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. some cacti.
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it's time now to "clear the air." and when the president mentioned that he does some skeet shooting at camp david, the reaction from a number of people has ranged from mild suspicion to full-on paranoia. >> he says he skeet shoots all the time at camp david but how many times has he gone to camp david? >> three times i think. where is the proof, president obama? >> the implication that the president may have been lying was not only expressed by those who make a living from spreading conspiracy theories but even by those who really should know better. >> if he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this, why has he not referenced it at any point in time as we have had this gun debate that is ongoing? >> sadly, and in response to this moment of disbelief, the white house then made a fundamental mistake because the administration chose to provide a photogr


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